MEK alternatives

MEK Substitutions and Alternatives

Methyl ethyl ketone, commonly known as MEK, is a flammable, colorless solvent used in various industries, including in household products. MEK is typically utilized in the manufacturing of synthetic rubbers, production of paraffin wax, varnishes, paint removers, and adhesives. Generally, MEK is considered to be an effective industrial solvent due to its high evaporation rate and high boiling point. 

Even though this solvent is effective, it’s not always safe. Read on to learn about the downsides of MEK and greener solvent alternatives. 

Are There Any Downsides to Using MEK?   

Though MEK is an effective solvent used in a variety of processes, it’s also known for its hazardous qualities, particularly how it affects workers who use the solvent. Some of these downsides include:  

  • High toxicity 
  • Respiratory irritant 
  • Serious eye and skin irritant 
  • Can potentially react with volatile organic carbon compounds in the air to form photochemical smog  

 More and more industrial companies are beginning to search for MEK substitutes due to these health and potential environmental hazards. These alternative solvents are highly desirable because they provide the assurance of a safer work environment and diminish chances of environmental harm.   

 Are There Any Effective MEK Substitutes?   

 There are several possible substitutes for MEK. Some of the most popular are: 

  • Preptone 
  • Acetone 
  • Dimethyl carbonate  

Both acetone and dimethyl carbonate are VOC exempt, fast-evaporating solvents that exhibit lower toxicity levels than MEK.   

What Is Preptone?  

Preptone is a highly effective fast-evaporating solvent formulated as a replacement for both MEK and TCE. Preptone consists of a blend of extremely high purity d-limonene and is acetone-based. The solvent also includes a proprietary inhibitor to avoid the oxidation of the terpenes, which enables the solvent to perform more effectively than ketone solvents, such as MEK.  

Some benefits of utilizing Preptone over MEK include:  

  • Higher performance 
  • No halogenated compounds or HAPs 
  • Quicker evaporation and dry time 
  • Low VOC 
  • Strong, nonpolar solvency, making it ideal for pre-paint cleaning 
  • Cost-efficient  
  • Can be utilized for similar purposes 

These characteristics enable Preptone to be the perfect eco-friendly replacement for MEK.   

Want to Try a Sample of Preptone and Other MEK Substitutes? 

Here at Ecolink, we provide samples to companies looking for environmentally friendly chemicals. You can view the product page here or contact the specialized staff here to learn how you can get your sample today!